Floods: Akute residents send SOS to government
The people of Denro-Ishasi Road in the Akute region of Ogun state are among those who dread rainfall – and the reason is not far-fetched. In recent weeks, the Akute-Denro-Ishasi road, which is one of the roads leading to the very popular Berger in Lagos state, has suffered from flooding.
The floods affected some residents, especially those living near the ongoing road project. It also led to store closings which had a negative impact on revenue streams. Work on the road, which requires a bridge to save residents and facilitate transportation, resumed in the last week of August 2021, after being abandoned by successive governments for years.
One of the locals, Mr Oluwatominsin Kolawole, said the road project has made life hell for them, especially for people working in Lagos State.
This particular group of people are now paying extra for transportation because of the poor condition of the road. According to him, the rains do not only cause flooding; it also creates emergency jobs for some people. Once the flooded roads become impassable, these people will exit the canoes, loading the passengers, to take them through the flooded area to the dry âshoreâ.
Kolawole said: âThe flood is affecting workers, transporters and students. Carriers have taken advantage of flooded roads to increase freight rates, which is inconvenient for commuters. We need government intervention more than ever because schools have resumed. I can’t imagine my younger sister who goes to school in Lagos State crossing this water every day. “
Ogun State Governor Dapo Abiodun in April this year came to inspect the axis and had made promises. He reportedly said: âMy administration will ensure that the project is completed and that residents will live happily, without fear of flooding again. “
The governor further promised that the project would be beneficial and of great importance to residents of neighboring communities. He also mentioned that the road will be the fastest route to the neighboring state of Lagos.
However, as residents continue to wait for the completion of the project, refrains of lamentation have become their daily song. Some residents said the flooded road was stressful for them, forcing them to choose alternative routes. The commuters, who cannot afford the canoes, pull up their packaging or roll up their pants,
take off their shoes and waddle around in the water. Another resident, Mr. Adeyemi Oluwatobi, said: âFloods happen every year and frequently. Most of the time, it is worse when the “dam” is open.
If there is water coming from the dam, it affects the bridge, while the bridge is not well constructed for water to pass through. The flood is doing a lot of damage. Motorcycles, which are one of the easiest forms of transportation for people, usually break down.
Those who make business and make money out of the situation are considered “Omo Onile”, otherwise known as “owners of the land”. However, they are essentially touts and profiteers from desperate situations.
Adeyemi said: âThose who live in this environment suffer from malaria. If there is standing water, of course, such an area will produce mosquitoes and attract reptiles like snakes. I also fear for those who wade in the water.
There is pointed granite underneath. It’s not safe! âMr. Emmanuel Okereke is a resident of Amodu Crescent in Akute, working in Lagos State. He said:â Now if you want to go through Denro to Berger you have to d ‘First take a motorbike up to the flooded area which is the N100, then use the canoes, which is another N100.
Again you need to take another N100 motorbike to your final destination. It’s not cheap, and I can’t blame those who use alternative routes, which is the Alagbole-Akute route. Not everyone can cope with the stress of going through the âpit latrine floodâ.
âTaking the road from Akute to Berger is not my favorite route, because before the flood problem, if I didn’t take a motorbike, I could easily wait for a shuttle or tricycles for Berger which cost 100 N. I am convinced that the government must work on this axis. My main concern now is the students who go to Akute’s school in Berger.
They are forced by the situation to take this path and it is dangerous for them. Ms. Adeleke Alimot, a trader whose daughter Zainab attends Ojodu Abiodun Community High School, said, âThe situation requires urgent attention.
The population of people passing through Denro is large, and only those who are interested use the canoes. I am really afraid to use the canoe. The price of transport is now double the normal price.
When you factor in the money spent on transportation, food, and school fees, you’ll know what that means. Our government advised us against the COVID-19 pandemic, but the flooded road is another way for people to contract the virus.
What measures has the government put in place to ensure that the flood does not cause illness for those who pass through it on their way to their destination? “
Alimot added: âMy daughter will stop going to school if the water does not recede or if plank bridges are not built for pedestrians. I will not ask my daughter to go if action is not taken.
It will be a horrible experience if the flood takes my daughter. Seeing my daughter alive is better than hearing that the flood took her away.
Our government does not know exactly what to do. If they really want to build the road, it shouldn’t be during the rainy season.
Alimot’s daughter, Zainab, 14, said: âI have always been in canoeing since I was in middle school (JSS1). I am now in high school (SS1).
This is how it always has been. I want this to stop so that I can leave the house with peace of mind, not that I will have to think about how to cross the water on the other side of the road.
Zainab said the state government should do something about the road quickly. Miss Model Deborah, a Federal Road Safety Commission worker, said, âI conquered water repellency and started canoeing every day. I remembered the first day I waded in the water.
He almost entered my private part, and I only waded there because there was no canoe. Our church member fell into the water on her way to church on Sunday. In addition, my office mate, Hannah, fell into the water because there was no canoe available.
She lost two of her phones, an automatic teller machine (ATM) card, an identity card, a key and 6,000 N. The worst part is that the water smells bad. Governance is not about tearing down people’s homes or making gutters; the main concern should be the bridge.
Ms Alle Ijaodoro, a resident of Estate Street, said she will never forget the day she walked in the water as she walked to Berger for a vigil. She said: âI entered the flooded road that night and when I got to my destination I had to use Dettol and soap to wash myself thoroughly. It is very dangerous to get into the canoe.
People were falling from the canoe into the water, which is why I decided to cross it on foot, instead of taking a canoe. Now I have to take the road, which is expensive, and the traffic jams only allowed me to get home after two hours.
A trip, which does not exceed 20 minutes on a normal day, now takes two hours. The government should come to our aid by building an air bridge through which water can pass. “
Incidentally, a contract for this road was awarded in 2013 by the administration of Ibikunle Amosun, but the joy of the people was dashed five years later when the contractor abandoned the project saying the government owed them 500. million naira.
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